Rowing back the years
Azaraimy HH

RELIVING the glory days of the Brunei Regatta, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam joined thousands of his subjects as well as international visitors at the Dermaga Diraja (Royal Wharf) Bandar Seri Begawan for the Brunei Regatta 2013 held at the Brunei River.

The regatta brings together people from different ethnic groups to witness boat races in a show of harmony and solidarity.

The regatta was held for the second consecutive year since the country revived the event last year. However, the event now sees the addition of modern water-crafts such as F1 speedboats and jet skis.

Accompanying His Majesty the Sultan were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.

The arrival of the royal entourage was greeted by Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman, Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Hazair bin Hj Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Hj Mohd Yussof, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Datin Paduka Dyg Hajah Adina binti Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and main committee members of the regatta.

His Majesty signed the BSB Royal Wharf Plaque, after which His Majesty and some members of the royal family took part in a special boat race.

After winning the boat race, His Majesty the Sultan consented to visit the “1930-2012 Regatta Memory Lane Exhibitions” located at the Art Gallery at the BSB Royal Wharf, which took place in conjunction with the regatta.

Organised by the Museums Department, the one-month exhibition features more than 100 pictures, trophies and medals of regatta competitions in Brunei from the 1930s to the present day.

His Majesty the Sultan returned to the Royal Dais to watch several races held in the afternoon. His Majesty then signalled the start of the most-anticipated race of the day – the traditional 30-rowers boat race in Kuala Sungai Lumapas.

His Majesty then returned to the Royal Dais to present the medals, trophies and prizes to the winners.

His Majesty then received a Pesambah from the Minister of Home Affairs.

In an interview, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi described the regatta as the great success.

He said it is the hope of the organising committee that the regatta continues to make improvements from year to year. He thanked all of those involved for making the regatta a success.

Dato Paduka Haji Abd Majid bin Mangarshah, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs in an interview said that it is hoped that the event would promote harmony not just among the people in the country but also in the region.

He said he was happy with the participation from outside Brunei such as from Sarawak. - Borneo Bulletin (4 February 2013)